We suffer from so many different diseases today, and because of corruption, pharmaceutical and medical research facilities are only trying to get richer. However, there are some researchers out there who are researching for the better good, not money.
Researchers have been performing extensive research on hormones and they might have found a new use for a thymus gland managing hormone. The hormone is known as fibroblast growth factor 21, or FGF21. In the study conducted at the Yale School of Medicine, researchers were able to extend the life of mice by simply increasing amounts of FGF21. Increased supply of FGF21 could even boost the immune system of the elderly.
The thymus is a lymphoid organ in the immune system that develops T cells, infection fighting agents. We need these t cells in order to maintain a healthy immune system. This isn’t the only discovered use of FGF21. It can also be used as an endocrine hormone that manages metabolism, weight loss, and glucose levels. The research found that FGF21 has the power to suppress appetite as a form of calorie intake management. It is also possible that it could protect against obesity and play a role in future treatments.
Researchers from Yale studied mice who had high levels of the hormone. After experimenting on the hormone to remove its function, they watched as the amount of FGF21 decreased. Lower levels of this hormone resulted in a decrease in the fat and function of the thymus
“We found that FGF21 levels in thymic epithelial cells are several folds higher than in the liver — therefore FGF21 acts within the thymus to promote T cell production,” Vishwa Deep Dixit, a professor of comparative medicine and immunobiology at Yale and an author of the study, said in the press release. “Elevating the levels of FGF21 in the elderly or in cancer patients who undergo bone marrow transplantation may be an additional strategy to increase T cell production and thus bolster immune function.”
Researchers plan on performing further investigations of the functions of FGF21, and they also want to research more on its effect on aging!